Santa Cruz Contra Dance
“Contra” (New England Folk) community dance! Easy to learn dances are taught & prompted. Live music always! All ages welcome. Come alone, with a partner, or with friends. Experienced dancers will often ask new folks to dance to help them learn the ropes. New dancers are encouraged to attend the free lesson at 5:30, before the regular dance at 6:00.
Contra dancing is a form of traditional American set dance, with its roots in the French and English country dancing of the 17th and 18th centuries. The dances are done in longways sets of couples, in which a dancer and their partner do a short series of dance figures or moves with each other and another couple, then each couple moves along the set to a new couple and repeats the figures, and so on. The figures themselves, which are simple and easy to learn, are similar to those used in traditional square dances-- for example, do-si-do and swing your partner. A caller teaches the dance and prompts the moves to live music (usually Celtic or traditional American reels and jigs). A night consists of multiple Contra dances, with each dance lasting 8-9 minutes. Then you thank this partner and ask someone new to dance. Also usually two waltzes a night.
Bring your dance shoes and a water bottle. Potluck snacks at the break. Wear comfortable clothes and low-heeled non-marking shoes (preferably that slide).
846 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060